The bubble tea trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so we’ve resigned ourselves to a permanent sugar high from milk tea and pearls. But if you’re still going strong on the brown sugar boba bandwagon, here are three upcoming bubble tea joints on the island for you to sip and chew on sweet tapioca orbs when those cravings kick in.
Just remember to lower your preferred sugar level every once in a while, ’cause the war against diabetes is still raging.
With roots dating back to 1998, this Taiwanese brand brings together traditional tea with bubble tea, taking things to the next level by having its own tea mountain, professional tea tasters, and tea roasters. It’s also got more than 200 stores in Taiwan and China, so you know Chicha San Chen must be doing something right.
Debuting in Singapore on May 14 at Somerset, the “tea boutique” preps each order on the spot using a tea brewer machine that apparently gets the job done within a minute. (Great news for impatient queuers here.) Each tea variety has its own set of numbers for water temperature, brew time, and tea-to-water ratio, with six types including Cassia black tea, High Mountain Pouchong tea, Osmanthus Oolong tea, and Dong Ding Oolong tea.
All you gotta do is pick your tea base (from $3.20) and layer your brew with anything from tropical notes to creamy flavors, then top it off with the likes of coconut jelly or chewy pearls that are apparently one-and-a-half times bigger than normal. Warm versions are available too, as well as varying sugar and ice level customizations. There’ll also be a tea appreciation corner where you can sample Taiwan’s Lishan Qingxin Oolong tea in five roast levels, plus a retail area with tea bags and loose leaf tea cannisters.
Opening on May 14 at #03-41, 313 @ Somerset. Daily 10am-10pm.
Fancy a cup of bubble tea at 3am? Now it’s a real possibility, but perhaps only if you live in the East. Taiwanese brand The Alley, which has swarmed cities across the globe with more than 300 outlets in a span of six years, has debuted a 24/7 kiosk at Jewel Changi Airport, with another to come at Cineleisure Orchard.
Must-tries include the brown sugar Deerioca fresh milk ($5.30) and its matcha ($6.30) or cocoa ($6.30) variations, all swirling with tapioca bobs that are carefully brewed for four hours in a pool of brown sugar. They’re rich and creamy, but beware the saccharine sweetness of it all, ’cause sugar levels can’t be adjusted.
For a more premium concept, the brand is launching The Alley Luxe cafe at its Orchard location this month, featuring the signature Deerioca series alongside its Lulu fresh fruit and Aurora fruit and tea drinks. If you’d like to sit for a bit, the store also offers nibbles like croissants, cruffins, and kouign-amann to go with your bubble tea.
The Alley is at #B2-273 Jewel Changi Airport. Open 24 hours. The Alley Luxe opens on May 18 at #02-06A/B Cineleisure.
Yet another famous Taiwanese name has set its sights on invading Singapore’s bubble tea scene: Xing Fu Tang. You oughta know the drill by now — wait in anticipation for the store to open, join the line on opening day, snap one of those ubiquitous pics of a “striped” brown sugar pearl milk cuppa, and get flooded by envious followers asking you whether it’s better or on par with the likes of Tiger Sugar and Jenjudan.
However, this one’s mostly for the East-siders, since its first Singapore branch is in Tampines. After establishing almost 100 outlets in Taiwan and abroad, its go-to drink is undeniably the brown sugar boba milk ($5.30), which contains tapioca balls “stir-fried” in woks brimming with caramelized brown sugar, and a top layer of more brown sugar that’s been torched. Other dessert-sounding drinks to try include matcha boba milk and mango smoothie with cutesy rabbit-shaped panna cotta.
Oh, and if you can’t wait till end-June to get your fix, the brand is giving you a peek of things to come with a pop-up at the basement of Takashimaya from May 30 to June 16.
Opening on June 28 at #01-22 Century Square.